January 20, 2022

Coronavirus briefs 12/18

coronavirus particles

Official: Cornell a hot spot for Omicron

Tompkins County accounts for most of the confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of COVID- 19 in New York, the Tompkins County Health Department reported Friday, almost all of those cases stemming from Cornell University.

“We’re now seeing that the Omicron variant is spreading in the wider community and that it is the predominant strain amongst the college student population,” Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa said in a release. “We’re seeing the variant spread more rapidly, but we are not seeing it increase the severity of disease of those who are testing positive or increase the number of people hospitalized in our community.”

The state has reported 117 Omicron cases in Tompkins County, but more up-to-date figures from the county show at least 135 cases, discovered through sequencing done through Cornell’s virology lab, working with Cayuga Medical Center and the health department.

“We’re able to see, nearly in real-time, how Omicron is spreading in our community,” Kruppa said. “This is a testament to how important access to testing and sequencing are and how fortunate we are to have partners in Cornell and Cayuga Health committed to ongoing pandemic response and transparency.”

“The spread of COVID-19 is still primarily occurring in settings where people are gathering and not wearing a mask or distancing,” he added, but vaccines are preventing severe infection. “As our cases have gone up significantly, especially amongst the most highly vaccinated portion of our community, severe disease and hospitalizations have not increased.”

3-county region adds 498 new cases, 1 death

Cortland County confirmed 51 new cases of COVD-19 on Friday, bringing its total to 7,555 cases.

Tompkins County now has 117 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant, the state reported, more than every other county in New York combined. The state has 178 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant.

Tompkins and Cayuga counties reported 350 new cases Friday, and two new deaths, as a spike continued in Tompkins County that has seen more than 1,850 new confirmed cases since Dec. 7.

The number of people who have contracted the virus increased to 27,718 across Cortland, Tompkins and Cayuga counties since the pandemic began in March 2020. The number of people who have died from the virus has risen to 275.

• The Cortland County Health Department was monitoring 614 patients, 210 of them confirmed positive. Thirteen people were hospitalized. Since the pandemic began, 373 people have been hospitalized. The state Health Department reports 238,037 tests have been administered. The county has reported 89 deaths.

• Tompkins County reported 316 new cases Friday, reports the state Health Department. The number of confirmed cases rose to 9,550. The state reports 2,797,847 had been tested. Sixty- seven Tompkins residents have died.

• In Cayuga County, the state Health Department reported 34 new cases Friday, and two new deaths. Confirmed cases rose to 10,613. The state reports 292,482 people had been tested. The state reports 119 people have died.

157,082 receive COVID vaccine in 3 counties

The state Health Department reports 28,196 Cortland County residents have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, or 59% of the county’s total population and 66.8% of its people over 18. A total of 55.2% of the county has been fully vaccinated.

In Tompkins County, 81,620 people have received at least one dose, or 79.4% of the population and 84.4% of people over 18; 73.3% are fully vaccinated.

In Cayuga County, 47,266 residents have received at least one dose, or 6132% of the total population and 69.6% of people over 18; 56.7% are fully vaccinated.

Statewide, 15.38 million people have received at least one dose, or 81.6% of the state’s population; 70.7% of the total population is fully vaccinated.

Cortland County rate now at 528 per 100,000

Cortland County reported 251 new cases of coronavirus from Dec. 9 to Wednesday.

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Cortland has 527.52 new cases per 100,000 people over the past week.

Cortland County was listed as having a “high risk” of transmission. The CDC recommends indoor masking in counties that exceed 50 cases per 100,000 over seven days.

The rates and risk, from the CDC:

Cortland: 527.52 — high
Tompkins: 1,047.17 — high
Cayuga: 472.73 — high
Onondaga: 410.18 — high
Broome: 548.59 — high
Chenango: 544.41 — high
Tioga: 597.47 — high
Madison: 530.02 — high